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Social care ‘betrayed yet again’ in budget

The care of older and vulnerable people has once again been betrayed in today’s budget, care providers said.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was left dismayed after the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, missed a ‘golden opportunity’ to begin the reform of social care.

ICG chair, Mike Padgham, said social care has once again been ignored at a time when the sector is in crisis with 1.4m people not getting the care they need.

‘This was a pivotal moment. With social care in crisis and still reeling from the devastating impact of Covid-19, today marked an opportunity to begin its recovery.

‘Support for those in difficulty, through the continuation of the Universal Credit top-up, is welcome, as is the extra support for business and investment in the economy.

‘But while billions were promised for this, that and the other, once again social care and the vulnerable people who rely upon it have been betrayed. We have been left short-changed once again.

‘Mr Sunak talked of challenge and change, but he did not tackle the challenges facing social care and he did not set out any changes.

‘We were looking for an indication that this government and this chancellor are serious about the long-term reform of social care, but we have been left wanting yet again.’

The ICG is calling on the chancellor to allocate more funds to local authorities to help them fund social care. It also wants to see social care zero-rated for VAT, to help hard-pressed care providers who are struggling to survive during the pandemic.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said the chancellor failed to show support for the existing and potential role which the adult social care sector plays as a valuable employer, comparable to the size of the NHS, in the UK’s job market.

Neither did it counterbalance the desperate need for an insurance strategy for the sector.

Professor Green said: ‘While there are some really welcome policies in the budget which may in time have tangible impacts upon employment and investment, we are disappointed that social care, the real front line, hasn’t received the support that it so needs so badly.

‘This Budget still resembled an emergency one rather than one that provided any long term assurance for the sector.

‘A ten-year plan akin to that of the NHS backed by £7bn injection into the adult social care would have been a great help to the sector, a sector which is a big part of the national infrastructure.

‘Care England will continue to put forward the sector’s case and remind the prime minister of his commitment to reforming the sector.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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